Research Argument Sources


1.) Grinberg, Emanuella. “Trigger warnings, safe spaces: Your guide to the new school year.” CNN, 26 Aug. 2016, Accessed 28 April 2017.

2.) Lukianoff, Greg and Jonathan Haidt. “The Coddling of the American Mind.” The Atlantic, Sept. 2015, Accessed 28 April 2017.

3.) Heer, Jeet. “Generation PTSD: What the “Trigger Warning” Debate Is Really About.” New Republic, 20 May 2015, Accessed 28 April 2017.

4.) Charnis, Daniel. “My Rights vs. Your Trigger Warning.” Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 62, no. 25, 2016, pp. B10-B11, Accessed 28 April 2017.

5.) Lockhart, Eleanor Amaranth. “Why Trigger Warnings Are Beneficial, Perhaps Even Necessary.” First Amendment Studies, vol. 50, no. 2, 2016, pp. 59-69, Accessed 28 April 2017.

What does each source do/add to the argument?

1.) This source from CNN gives the basic background on what trigger warnings/safe spaces are and why they are now being heavily debated on college campuses. The article discusses the letter the University of Chicago recently sent out to incoming freshman in order to warn them that the school does not condone the use of trigger warnings because they believe that trigger warnings censor learning. This source not only provides some background on trigger warnings, but also allows me to begin looking at the opposition to trigger warnings in my paper on the basis that they censor learning and prohibit a free learning environment.

2.) This source opposes trigger warnings and feels that they allow college students “a way out” of dealing with things that make them uncomfortable. It also claims that in today’s politically correct society, one’s emotions are safeguarded because people are afraid to offend others in what they say. This will contribute to the argument against trigger warnings because it will challenge the idea that trigger warnings mean nothing more than just warning/preparing those who need them. This source also brings up the idea of exposure therapy in the classroom and how trauma victims need to face their problems instead of avoid them. I will highlight this argument in my paper when discussing the opposing side, but then rebuttal it with another source that I found (source 5).

3.) This source questions the necessity of trigger warnings and the expansion of the definition of PTSD to include many things other than just after combat (like sexual assault, domestic abuse, etc.). This source will allow my argument to focus on how much is too much when it comes to trigger warnings. It will allow me to question whether trauma on college campuses is defined too loosely or not. It will also question some of the uses of trigger warnings specifically and target the limits to which trigger warnings are actually needed.

4. ) This source looks at a specific time when a trigger warning was expected by an individual on a college debate team in order to determine if they would be triggered or emotionally charged during the debate of a topic, and therefore would want to bypass the particular topic and opt for another one. This source is not necessarily against trigger warnings, but rather, what they have the potential to do when used incorrectly. Although trigger warnings were wanted to expand their original definition to block or prevent the discussion of topics in this case, this article will add the idea of how trigger warnings can be used incorrectly to censor topics as well as the idea of ambiguity and how there is no specific standard as to which topics need trigger warnings.

5.) This source supports trigger warnings on the basis that they do not stop distressing material from being taught, but rather, allow triggered students to mentally prepare for distressing material to come so that they can have the opportunity to think critically about the topic just like their non-triggered peers. This source adds the idea of equality of opportunity in learning and supports the idea that trauma victims should be emotionally prepared so that they have an equal chance at openly discussing the material. This source also brings up the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how PTSD patients are mandated to receive reasonable accommodations, to which trigger warnings can be accommodations that are one of the least disruptive options. This will allow for me to add to my argument that trigger warnings do not hurt those who are not triggered, they only serve to help those who are. Finally, this source also provides the rebuttal to the idea of exposure therapy in the classroom, from the opposing side, and will add to my side the idea that a classroom is not a therapist’s office and that teachers are not trained to practice exposure therapy.

Researched Argument Possible Topics

When thinking about the researched argument, the kinds of topics that interest me are regarding athletics, health/environment, and food waste. These topics interest me because I know what it’s like to be on an athletic team, I am a student of the college of health sciences, and I care about saving food, rather than just throwing it away.

1.) Question: Should college athletes be paid?

This is an important question because college teams bring in a lot of money for universities, their coaches receive salaries but college athletes themselves, who dedicate countless hours, are not paid for their time and hard work.

Motivation: I am motivated to explore the topic of whether or not college athletes should be compensated because I have always been an athlete so I know how much time and energy goes into being part of a team and participating in a sport (while being expected to balance all other activities).

Information: I hope to find specific numbers regarding how much revenue college teams bring in, how much money their respective coaches make, and how many hours athletes spend each week with their team.

Arguments: I hope to argue that because of their influence, the amount of time spent dedicated to their team, and the amount of money that they help universities make, they should be rewarded for their time, just as professional athletes are. They are recruited just as professional athletes and should be compensated.


2.) Question: Should more hydration stations be implemented on college campuses in order to help the environment/promote easy access to clean water?

This is an important question because many students love the idea of being able to quickly fill up their water bottles with clean, filtered water. These hydration stations also help save plastic, but it’s important to keep in mind the cost of adding more of them to campuses.

Motivation: I am motivated to explore this topic because I am a health behavior science major and staying hydrated (through easy access to clean water) is an aspect of wellness that drives/influences so many other parts of health. Also, these stations reduce the risk of plastic water bottles, so they are also environmentally friendly.

Information: I hope to find specific numbers on how many plastic water bottles are used annually and how that number contributes to the waste in the environment. I also want to explore the varying costs of hydration stations.

Arguments: I hope to argue that more hydration stations will eliminate excess plastic waste and encourage students to drink more water and stay hydrated, positively impacting their health.


3.) Question: What should be done about food waste in dining halls?

This is an important question because so much food is thrown away and there are plenty of people/places lacking food that could benefit from donating the food.

Motivation: I am motivated to explore this topic because access to food is something that is critically important to all and the fact that so much food is wasted makes me want to combat it and find plausible ways to repurpose wasted food from dining halls.

Information: I hope to find specific numbers/statistics on how much food is wasted each day in a typical dining hall and compare those numbers to the local people/places that are in need of food.

Arguments: I hope to argue that excess food in dining halls should be collected to some extent and donated to local food banks or poor people/families who are in need of food.

Fresh Food In Garbage Can To Illustrate Waste

Core4: UD Student Health Concerns

A cause that is important to my group, the Core4, is the varying student health concerns that undergraduates all over the country are experiencing, specifically freshmen, including the ones here at UD. While student health concerns range from lack of exercise/poor dieting, to unaddressed mental health concerns, to unsafe-sex practices (and the STDs that may follow), it’s important to educate students from the beginning of their time at college. Many college freshmen are experiencing a time when they are out in the world on their own for the first time, making it a very influential time, which can be positive or negative (depending on who is influencing them). This is an important cause to support because college students, and students in general, are the future of the world. If we do not take time to focus on our health now and the importance of making the healthy choices that we should, we will fail to see the importance of passing that information on to future generations. A lot about who we will become is determined by the health-related choices that we make everyday—and they are everywhere. From what we choose to fuel our bodies with in the dining hall, to the destructive substances that we choose that ultimately hurt us, we are in control. From taking the elevator to taking the stairs in various buildings on campus, we are in control. From using a condom when being sexually active to having unprotected sex, we are in control. That’s why it’s important to educate the person in control, us students, on how to healthfully use that power. A student group that strives to do that here at UD is Healthy HENS. Although it’s a good start, way too many students are continually choosing an unhealthy way of life that affects not only their bodies but their minds too. By supporting the cause of improving the physical health of students, we can potentially have a positive impact on their mental health as well. This is still an important cause to support because although we have the research and the knowledge behind healthful decisions, that information just isn’t getting the exposure that it needs to be. It’s our time, here at UD, to take a stand and address student health concerns more than they are currently being considered.

healthyhens               0d91ff9

Destigmatizing Mental Illness on College Campuses

stop-the-stigma-of-mental-illness-e1381250784828After researching the mental health movement and starting to build my website, I’ve realized just how important online platforms are. Specifically with the mental health movement on college campuses, and the need to create a welcoming space for all, an online platform reaches people who may be struggling in silence. Online pages allow shy people or those ashamed of their struggle to step out, voice their opinions, and get help.

The organization that I want to focus my website on is Active Minds (and their chapters at universities across the country) because they have a large online platform. This platform includes their website and various social media pages like Facebook and Twitter. Active Minds uses their social media pages to post quotes, messages, videos, and links to articles in the hopes of educating all about mental health and the need to destigmatize it. This is an effective way of getting the message out because college students are used to scrolling through their social media news feeds and seeing pictures, quotes, and articles to browse. I want to post similar links and pictures on my website homepage, because they are both relatable and will capture the attention of viewers, leading them to further discover my website. The Active Minds website is easy to navigate due to its site map, which gives links to the website’s main features like the homepage, the organization’s background, media, and information on the current chapters. This layout is helpful for viewers on the Active Minds website because they can easily find out why and when the organization was established (2003) as well as how to get involved under the “take action” tab. The “take action” tab includes an interactive map that shows which universities have a current chapter, including UD.

I want my website to be utilize organized tabs on the homepage and include many links, making it easy and enjoyable to explore. I wish to emulate the Active Mind’s website by including the story of how they were established/their mission, along with mental health statistics on college campuses under an “about” tab which can be found directly on the homepage. I also want to include a “why” tab which discusses why it’s important to accept mental illness for what it is and stop making it this unspeakable issue which deters people from getting help. I will also include a “how you can help” tab which lists the many chapters that exist across the country as well as the necessary contact info. In contrast to the Active Minds website, I wish to include shorter bursts of information/bullet points rather than long paragraphs because college viewers prefer quick information, and will be more likely to continue to explore my website if they are attracted immediately.


Advocacy is Action

To me, advocacy is more than just believing in something or siding with a particular position. Advocacy is action. It’s supporting a cause or opposing something so much that one feels compelled to take a stand and actually act according to their beliefs. These actions include, but are not limited to, signing a petition, educating someone about your beliefs, or attending a march. When I think of movements that successfully work in creating change, I picture peaceful protests rather than violent ones. Violent actions often attract negative attention and therefore are not a good method of advocating for change. The movements that are successful throughout history take a bold stand, but it isn’t violent actions that make them achieve success.

Historical Movements:

  • The Labor Movement
  • The Women’s Rights Movement (1848-1920)
  • The Civil Rights Movement (1960s)

Current Movements:

  • Women’s March on Washington
  • The Walk for Life

The movements that interest me are current ones—The Walk for Life and the Women’s March on Washington. I feel that for the majority of my life I never really took a definite stand on abortion because well, it’s an uncomfortable subject. However, I feel that in my own spirituality and faith I’ve grown to see both sides of the fight, but support those who march to support life. As a young woman and college student, I am nearing that age of having to make decisions bigger than myself and support a cause that does just that, all while keeping my femininity in mind. By exploring either one of these movements and its goals, I hope to educate myself more on both sides of the spectrum, both pro-life and pro-choice. As I move forward in understanding these movements, I expect many people to challenge my beliefs, especially in this day and age.